San Miguel Project
Miguel Emilio Balmaceda Genre: Acoustic & Electric lead/rhythm guitars all styles Acoustic and electric guitarist playing as a solo act, or with ensemble. Original repertoire consists of an eclectic blend of blues, rock, jazz, reggae, latin, classical, and country music. Biography Steeped in blues, rock, and jazz guitar Miguel has played professionally for over 25 years and composed an original catalog of beautiful acoustic and electric guitar instrumentals in blues, rock, jazz, and latin styles, and interesting new hybrid blends which combine country and classical, blues and reggae, latin and blues (Spanish Blues). His performing repertoire also includes original chord/melody arrangements of many Brazilian and Jazz standards. Over the years Miguel's band 'The San Miguel Project' has featured such musical talents as Lawrence Dixon (Wilson Pickett) on keys, Larry Washington (Tina Turner) on drums, Rick Fierbracci (Yanni, Frank Gambale) on bass, Joel Taylor (Alan Holdsworth, Brian Bromberg) on drums, and Paul Kerstan (Kiluea) on drums. In 1999 'The San Miguel Project' was Arizona University Recordings' Grammy nominee entry in the Best New Artist and Best Pop Album categories. Garageband.com awards and Signature Reviews for 'San Miguel Blues' include: Track of the Day on 23Mar2005 in Blues Rock #14 Grooviest Rhythm in Blues Rock, all-time #7 Potential Soundtrack in Blues Rock, all-time Best Guitars in Blues Rock, week of 21Mar2005 Best Drums in Blues Rock, week of 21Mar2005 Best Melody in Blues Rock, week of 21Mar2005 Best Mood in Blues Rock, week of 21Mar2005 Most Original in Blues Rock, week of 21Mar2005 Grooviest Rhythm in Blues Rock, week of 21Mar2005 Chill-Out Track in Blues Rock, week of 18Apr2005 Signature Reviews Old Skool Influence Straight out of the 70's and I'm loving this. I really like the old style of rock used here. This is a tune any rock lover would appreciate instrumental songs are just to scarce these days. The arrangement is very awesome and I love how the song just changes moods around the 1:30 mark, a regae type of vibe came in which was really cool. Guitars are amazing I love the blues element added to the rhythm, the solo was pretty damn convincing as well, great arrangement on guitars. This track belongs in a movie or on T.V. for sure. Kudos. Reviewed by: krutchflatlined from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada Great blues intro!! Slow blues is only good if it is set up right and this one is from the beginning. Great guitar work along with drums and bass. ^#^all work well here. ^#^then a pleasant surprise for all ears it changes movement!! what a great idea. Then the guitar comes in even stronger during the instrumental up beat chorus. These guys have it down pat. ^#^they get you in the beginning and never let go. I wanted to listen again so I am. ^#^this song is fresh and is something that should be heard by all. Instrumentally this song reminds me of denny freeman who in my opinion is one of the best at instrumentals. ^#^check him out and see what I'm talking about. ^#^production and performance were both right out of the book. ^#^couldn't be better. The arrangement again was awesome melody kept my attention all the way through. Double C the Pickin Cotten band Cecil Cotten Reviewed by: cwc45ntx from Dallas, Texas Garageband.com awards and Signature Reviews for 'Medicine Man' include: Track of the Day on 30Apr2005 in Instrumental Rock Signature Reviews Mouth watering Crash start sets the scene with rain and pining guitar trembling in the wake. Expressive melody with lots of variety and pace changes that take it down a slightly Latin route. Lead guitar nearly goes out of hearing levels in both directions. How many takes for this one? Mood is wonderful, exciting and mind tipping stuff. The background percussion is cleverly positioned to make a difference without interfering. The lead is so good I could eat it. 5/5 just for the imaginative arrangement. Reviewed by: KITMAC from Leicestershire, United Kingdom So sweet my teeth hurt Very pro, Santana-like tones...I dig how the maraca sounds sweep from left to right and back...guitar player has an intense vibrato...very soulful playing...plenty of breathing space...I dig the rhythmic changes...they're keeping me on my toes...the arrangement is very appropriate...it's light and not bogged down at all...I could listen all night...just beautiful! Reviewed by: RockHunter from Tempe, Arizona Signature Review for Spanish Blues Luscious! This track is positively yummy. The jazzy octave riff is really good. The background works as a fine template for the lead. I would say this could qualify as a jazz piece as well, t I would definitely pay money to see you perform. Awesome track. Reviewed by: real2realmusic from Oakland, California latin money nice attention grabbing intro. The acoustic guitar sounds very nice. The layers of acoustic guitars work well. The rhythm guitar is played very tastefully so it doesn't interfere with the lead. The melody is nice. i'm starting to see that this is just an instrumental. ^#^it sounds great. ^#^it has a slightly latin feel to it. i like. Reviewed by: aaronj from Boston, Massachusetts The following music review was provided by talentmatch.com on 04.16.04. Songs: From the beautiful blaring guitar riffs of 'San Miguel Blues' to the thoughtful and stress relieving fingerings of 'Mountain Melt Classic' and 'Mountain Melt Steel String,' Balmaceda never once falls off from perfection. Production: Immaculate! I love the use of congas and shaker on 'Gypsy Eyes,' the progressive entrancing drum and bass tracks on 'Medicine Man,' and the all around clarity of 'San Miguel Blues.' This song, which is so busy, it would seem virtually impossible to have each track come through as clearly as it does. The lead riffs blare with an almost (Joe) Satriani feel, and are coupled with a rhythm guitar line Carlos Santana himself would be proud to claim as his own. There's Immense clarity and richness. Marketability: For the avenue and style with which Balmaceda explores and his vast knowledge in music, it's almost inconceivable that anyone could not palate this rich warm compilation of songs. As well, Balmaceda has an honest accessible physical presence which exudes confidence and poised direction. I am certain this music is radio accessible on any jazz or classical music station. Musicianship: He has paid his dues in the last 20 years as an artist writer and composer. I myself, would honestly pay any price to view Balmaceda alongside his idol, Carlos Santana. These songs are so richly written and layered with hooks that it's impossible not to be appreciative of his talent. Combining blues, jazz, world and mid tempo rock, with a biting distorted guitar on 'San Miguel Blues' and heartfelt warm melodies with Spanish overtones on 'Spanish Blues,' it's a wonder this man has not blown up. More Bio: Miguel Balmaceda was born January 31, 1953 in Colon, Panama. His hard working parents emigrated to New York City, where he was raised until his teens. The migration continued west to California, where his ear latched on to an eclectic blend of pop, rock and jazz influences. Everything from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, to the Doors, to John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, to Carlos Santana. 'It was Carlos who influenced me the most, particularly on a spiritual level. Of course musically as well, but it was the completely inspirational quality of his mid-70s recordings 'Caravanserai', 'Welcome', and 'Borboletta' which really drove me to become a player. Eventually, I wanted to generate in my own playing, the same kinds of inspired emotions Carlos had evoked in me. There were other albums from that period which moved me as well. Robin Trower's 'Bridge of Sighs', and McLaughlin's 'Birds of Fire' were mind expanding masterpieces. But it was Carlos who made my heart soar the highest.' In 1984 Miguel enrolled in Hollywood's Guitar Institute of Technology (now the Musician's Institute). 'That experience at G.I.T. was the turning point for me as a player. Until then I had always ha the desire and talent I think, but not the confidence to believe I could ever develop a career in music. But it was that experience which led me to develop a jazz vocabulary and eventually compose and record my first album 'The San Miguel Project'.' Miguel plays a Les Paul electric guitar through a Mesa Boogie amp, and an acoustic classical guitar custom made by luthier Abe Wechter, famous for John McLauglin's unique scalloped fingerboard instruments. Mountain Melt has been featured on KKSF 106.7 in the SF Bay area on Sunday mornings.